QUT staff vote on conditions cut for jobs saved

The proposal is from management and the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union

It is based on written assurances that the cuts are commensurate to the cash crunch the university faces.  An independent panel, including reps from the union and managements’ industrial-relations association, assure staff the reductions in staff benefit “are proportionate to the magnitude of the financial challenge that the university faces,” and that “the university has considered and where appropriate sought to use other available sources of funds.”

This is straight out of the accord written by the union’s national leadership and four VCs to minimise job losses by maximising savings, with redundancies as a last resort.

The accord has been rejected by 20 or so universities, largely because leaderships did not like the union over-sighting savings. And the union’s leaders have copped caustic criticism from members who want to hold the line against cuts to conditions.

But it appeals to pragmatists. So far, all universities that have adopted the accord, or variations of it, have had their proposals approved on staff votes (CMM July 15).